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  #16  
Old 5 Jan 2010
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Originally Posted by craig76 View Post
You're probably right. However, Yamaha in France sell more Fazers than the top 5 UK (125cc+) best sellers combined (4 being sportsbikes). The new reg statistics suggest we may follow that trend towards bikes with more allround abilities. The comment I made about "pointing the finger" was made in jest so don't take it too seriously.
That's why I said UK and used the past tense. Not taken seriously. I've had a GSXRthou, RSV1000R, zxr400, cbr600 etc. Ridden the nurburgring briskly and completed 3 full seasons of club racing whilst I was at it. I like sportsbikes too.

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Autoboxes have hardly made an impact on 125cc+ motorcycles, other than maxi-scoots.
Exactly they're currently expensive and deemed irrelevant to sportsbikes. I'm interested in ideas here. Things that will make bikes BETTER and flexibility is one of them - the option of auto for town and manual for the racetrack etc.. This was not an economics example but an innovation one. I don't need to labour the point here as thankfully Honda (for one) have finally turned up with an ABS that people actually want (more on traction control later) and I see 'semi'-autogearboxes will also follow suit. Included flexibility to make our lives easier and attract new bikers.

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Originally Posted by craig76 View Post
If you drive a car from the last 10 years, it will without exception have technology that has filtered down from F1.
Tired, tired, tired old cliche. My car has wheels but that doesn't mean the manufacturer employed the original Mesopatanian chariot wheel designer. F1 is necessary to showcase the optimisation of the current technology but as a true innovator and view into the future of transport it is not. Besides Toyota had sold 1/4million Prius' before KERS arrived in F1 and the Isle of Man ran their first electric Grand Prix!

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Originally Posted by craig76 View Post
Advanced ABS systems and traction control are where manufacturers are putting their efforts and those technologies are now filtering down to the showroom.
Yes, and so it should be. These ideas have been around for years and the irony is that both F1, MotoGP and WSB are struggling to find ways to "put the genie back in the lamp" because of calls that the sports are too expensive, too technologically focused and becoming too boring and too predictable (to the average joe). Hence the incessant rule tinkering. I'm also an Engineer and enjoy motorsport not because of what I see now but because it makes me look to the future.

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Originally Posted by craig76 View Post
Yamaha Fazer 1000. They're based on what is now very conventional technology but you can tour, scratch, commute, take a pillion and is quick enough for most riders.
A faired one, yes. I agree, out of the current crop it is a fantastic bike. Bear in mind that the current bike is basically unchanged since 2006 and it still only does about 40mpg. Where's the magic in a retuned old R1 lump? You're unlikely to attain any vision of the new by just refining the old.

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Originally Posted by craig76 View Post
But, like I said and regardless of what you, I, the magazines or anyone else thinks, consumers will always dictate what the market offers.
WE ARE the consumers. That's what we're doing now, isn't it? Dealers are like doctors, they see the symptoms but are rarely the right people to develop the cure because their knowledge is too broad - it just isn't their job. But like Doctors talking to the drugs companies, they are very important in channelling all that feedback and influencing what the public actually do.

I think I may have laboured the point here
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Last edited by edteamslr; 5 Jan 2010 at 10:43.
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  #17  
Old 6 Jan 2010
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Aren't electric bikes the future of commuting?
I've been trying to get info about them - especially since the electric TT last year, there are a couple of companies making but at the moment all you can get is 250 performance for the price of a litre sportsbike and as far as insurance goes the regular players seem to be ignoring it altogether - last time I looked.

I know I for one would sign up if I could get the performance of a 500 (ER or similar) to use as my commute ( 12 miles each way inc. some motorway) so long as the price and running costs were right - something for the manufacturers to start lobbying the govt. about I think.
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  #18  
Old 8 Jan 2010
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Originally Posted by edteamslr View Post
That's why I said
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Originally Posted by edteamslr View Post
UK and used the past tense. Not taken seriously . I've had a GSXRthou, RSV1000R, zxr400, cbr600 etc. Ridden the nurburgring briskly and completed 3 full seasons of club racing whilst I was at it. I like sportsbikes too.

Very similar to my list of past bikes. Currently have an RSV as my own bike and suffering from withdrawal as I haven't ridden the 'Ring since May 2008 .

I can see a market for semi-auto gearboxes on luxury tourers such as Goldwings and BMW K-LT's that's not the future of transport for the masses. From an innovation perspective, Piaggio's MP3-LT is interesting. Not sure about purposely designing it around a loophole that allows you to ride a 400cc motorcycle on a car licence without a helmet but it certainly makes motorcycling more accessible if you can get your head around the price. Same goes for BMWs new electric version of the C1.

If bikes are to be the future of transport, licencing is a problem due to some seriously deluded ideas on what constitutes road safety on the part of the DSA. If you’re looking at bikes as a serious form of transport for Joe Public rather than a leisure or lifestyle accessory, you need to be thinking CBT level but the problem with bikes in that class are the sheer volumes of cheap imports that sell for a fraction of the price of what a properly developed product should. There's no incentive for the established manufacturers to produce a small but truly innovative CBT-level bike when the price difference of existing models and Chinese imports is so far apart already.


I remember the idea of a semi-auto Fireblade was talked about around the launch of the 2008 model. Interesting and while I don’t doubt for a minute that it’s technically feasible on the current bike, I don't see it being something I would buy for myself. I’d be interested in how many takers there would be though.

I also remember Porsche launching the Tiptronic gearbox on the 911 which the purists hated though not quite as much as the semi-auto Sportomatic gearbox on the original 911. Purist’s also said the same about starter motors on motorcycles so you never know.

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Originally Posted by edteamslr View Post
Tired, tired, tired old cliche.
Another old cliche is other than war, competition is the biggest incentive to develop technology or at least accelerate the rate of development. I do agree with the current state of F1 in that there's not much that will filter down now from that field of motorsport as it has done in the past. On the other hand, the TC as used on top of the line Ducati's is straight from MotoGP though I believe some of the functionality has been removed to prevent it being copied.


Quote:
Originally Posted by edteamslr View Post
These ideas have been around for years and the irony is that both F1, MotoGP and WSB are struggling to find ways to "put the genie back in the lamp" because of calls that the sports are too expensive, too technologically focused and becoming too boring and too predictable (to the average joe). Hence the incessant rule tinkering. I'm also an Engineer and enjoy motorsport not because of what I see now but because it makes me look to the future.

I agree. If you believe the magazines, BMW's new S1000RR has the most advanced ABS and TC systems yet seen on a road bike, supposedly to make 190bhp "useable". OK, ABS on bikes has been around for years but not with this level of sophistication which you'd have only seen in MotoGP not so long ago. This begs the question, if a newcomer to this market sector such as BMW can offer this now, why or what are the big 4 Japanese manufacturers holding back?

Quote:
Originally Posted by edteamslr View Post
A faired one, yes. I agree, out of the current crop it is a fantastic bike. Bear in mind that the current bike is basically unchanged since 2006 and it still only does about 40mpg. Where's the magic in a retuned old R1 lump? You're unlikely to attain any vision of the new by just refining the old.
The Fazer was an example just to make the point that I also think that the current crop of sports bikes are excessive for what most will use them for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by edteamslr View Post
WE ARE the consumers. That's what we're doing now, isn't it? Dealers are like doctors, they see the symptoms but are rarely the right people to develop the cure because their knowledge is too broad - it just isn't their job. But like Doctors talking to the drugs companies, they are very important in channelling all that feedback and influencing what the public actually do.

I think I may have laboured the point here
So that’s decided then. 150bhp diesel, semi-automatic, fully faired Fazer’s with ABS and TC for everyone in 2011.

If you’re listening Yamaha, send a cheque!
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  #19  
Old 9 Jan 2010
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I loved my RSVR. Sadly I snapped the headstock off it at Snetterton whilst trying to get 3rd place in a club race. Lost the front at Corram. Messy. And expensive.

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Originally Posted by craig76 View Post
So that’s decided then. 150bhp diesel, semi-automatic, fully faired Fazer’s with ABS and TC for everyone in 2011.
I should be careful what I wish for!

I think zygote4 may have a hit on something - we 'bikers' all love our fast, impractical, smelly bikes (and seemingly are unable to contemplate a future that doesn't involve the current status quo) but perhaps the way to ensure the future of our passion is to reinvent it for newcomers: Electric bikes. Crammed with high tech gadgets, good margins for the manufacturers and a hit with the environmentalists. Probably sold in trendy boutiques or car showrooms. Think iphones and appstores for bikes. People will pay good money to 'save the planet' and, who knows, the fruits of their investment may even tempt some of us 'petrolheads' away from gasoline for our daily commute too.
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  #20  
Old 11 Jan 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edteamslr View Post
...but perhaps the way to ensure the future of our passion is to reinvent it for newcomers: Electric bikes. Crammed with high tech gadgets, good margins for the manufacturers and a hit with the environmentalists. Probably sold in trendy boutiques or car showrooms. Think iphones and appstores for bikes.
Keep an eye on Ssangyong showrooms as they're planning to sell a range of electric scooters in their car dealerships.

Maybe a bit of a token gesture considering the rest of their range but it's definitely a market sector that's worth keeping an eye on.
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  #21  
Old 11 Jan 2010
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Will do! Hopefully this type of product can escape being seen as too overly gimicky enough for people to actually want them rather than something for the wealthy to buy their children!

That reminds me, I met a local in Niger who had a 'Japan-Tech' chinese bike with a remote keyfob start to go with its 'this rider is turning right/left' recorded message indicators. Sadly the poor bike needed a good fistful of throttle to actually fire up but it got me thinking that the sky's the limit once bikes become properly digital!
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  #22  
Old 11 Jan 2010
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I think we're missing the one fundamental reason why two-wheeled transport will never appeal to the majority of the British public... it rains too much in the UK...

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